DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. Rizzoli & Isles and its characters are the property of Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro and TNT television network. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Demeter94[at]yahoo.de
SERIES: Falling Dreams Series
Lindsay had been having dreams of falling since her childhood, a sign of stress maybe when she sensed her parents' marriage fall apart before anyone dared to say it aloud. They kept returning at irregular intervals, at thirteen after her father had left for good, at twenty-four when her mother had died. Every now and then during the Kiss-Me-Not case. Sometimes, there was a certain face in it, but he was dead, gone.
Even tumbling into darkness, she knew she'd wake up to a better reality. Usually.
Jane Rizzoli was dead tired when she walked past customs looking for her husband Gabriel who had promised to pick her up at the airport. The original plan had been to spend a few days prior to the scheduled extradition in the beautiful city of San Francisco. She should have known that something would come up. As in, a dead body.
She had left Boston at noon and felt ready to crash after spending most of the day on airports and in the air, being crowded by the snoring businessman to her left and the crying child to her right. The man had slept through all of it, but Jane's nerves were lying blank. San Francisco could wait another day.
The young redheaded woman appearing out of nowhere, throwing her arms around her and kissing her like she meant it, effectively jolted Jane out of her reverie. It took a moment to entangle herself from the passionate embrace.
"Thank God, you're here! I thought you--"
"What the hell are you doing?" Jane had finally found her speech, and her exhaustion did not help the mood. At another time, she might have found this amusing; now, she was simply annoyed.
The woman blinked. Twice. "Linds, what's wrong?" She leaned close again, and Jane took a hasty step backwards. "What's going on?"
"What's going on is you're really testing my patience, and you're giving me probable cause to search you for drugs. You're lucky I'm far out of my jurisdiction."
"Your" She blushed, her gaze dropping as realization must have been sinking in. Then she looked up again, her brown eyes wide with alarm.
Jane had no doubt as to what had prompted her reaction, and with a sigh, she thought that she still could shock people easily.
"I'm sorry," the other woman whispered, now completely mortified. She reached for her purse with shaking hands. Jane tensed, bracing herself, but the woman simply produced her wallet, opening it to the photograph inside. It showed her with another woman, the two of them smiling into the camera, obviously a couple.
It wasn't what made Jane's jaw drop. This was San Francisco after all.
The other woman in the picture could have been Jane's identical twin.
"Can I ask what you've been up to?" She spun around to face an amused-looking Gabriel who had most likely witnessed the woman's a little too enthusiastic greeting.
Somebody tell me this is not real.
This was a nightmare, turning more surreal by the minute. Even the utter mortification couldn't drown out the foreboding Cindy was feeling; Lindsay should have been here two hours ago, and she couldn't reach her on the cell phone.
All the weekend, she'd wished she could have accompanied Lindsay on her brief trip to her grandparents, checking on her grandmother who was just out of the hospital after hip surgery, but she'd had a non-negotiable deadline. Abbie was doing very much okay and already grousing about the temporary immobility, according to Lindsay's last phone call. Cindy hesitated to contact Abbie yet. It would mean there was a reason to be afraid.
They'd spend a little over half a year in relative peace now, as much as that could be said given their respective professions. Cindy had the bad feeling that this period was about to end. In any case she couldn't stop staring at the tall dark-haired woman who was just about to leave the airport with her husband, the woman who looked exactly like Lindsay.
Not just a resemblance. More like a twin sister.
Cindy felt the blood rush to her face, wondering once again how that embarrassing mistake could have happened and what she was going to do now. If something had come up or any flights had been delayed, it would have been easy to check, and of course Lindsay would have called her.
With a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach she realized that she might have to ask for help on this.
Lindsay had hardly ever more longed for a flight to be over. She was infinitely grateful to have a couple of days more off after the heavy caseload. Her grandmother was, fortunately, doing fine after her surgery. Trying to keep her to rest enough was what had been the real challenge. Lost in thought and bone-tired as she exited the airport, Lindsay wanted nothing more than fold herself into Cindy's little red car and maybe catch a few z's on the way home before she could get some real sleep.
It all happened too quickly for her to react, screeching tires, the doors of the van sliding open, hands grabbing her. Her struggle was brief and inconclusive as the needle was crudely pushed into her thigh through the fabric of her jeans. Within seconds, her legs were feeling like butter, and before the sliding doors banged shut, she tumbled into blackness.
"Claire, thank God you're home."
Claire immediately recognized her friend's voice, and she didn't need any more clues to realize that Cindy was extremely upset. "Sweetie, what's wrong?" she asked anxiously.
"I'm at the station. Please come here as soon as you can. Lindsay... didn't come home."
Claire had her coat and keys in hand before she disconnected the call.
Awareness returning was not pleasant. There was a pounding reverberating in her skull, making her dizzy, and she felt like throwing up. She tried to move, which only resulted in sharp pain, and warm wetness trailing down her wrists. Lindsay didn't need any more clues to figure out that she was in big trouble.
She finally managed to open her eyes, flinching at the bright light directed at her in the otherwise dark room. The man standing next to the lamp was tall and lanky, his voice giving away the grin when he said, "Detective Rizzoli. It's so nice of you to join us."
Lindsay could make out more shapes in the darkness. "Who?" she said irritably.
He laughed. "The drug must have had a stronger effect than I thought. Let's give it some time, Jane. I can call you Jane, right? Since we have a friend in common."
Lindsay shook her head, but thought better of it when the nausea rose again. However, she began to understand the reason for her dilemma. "See, you got this wrong. My name is Lindsay Boxer, and any friend of mine would have kicked you in the balls by now."
He moved quickly behind her, hand fisting in her hair and giving a quick tug. She bit her lip, stifling the cry into a pained gasp. "Don't get smart with me, Detective," he whispered close to her ear. "I know who you are. I can give you a fighting chance, or I can make this really quick and painful."
Lindsay didn't doubt him for a second; whoever the guy was talking about, he seemed to enjoy pain quite a bit. Hers, to be correct. She had to be in a better position the next time she talked back at him. "Alright. I still don't know what you want from me. Would you care to enlighten me?"
Strangely enough, there seemed to be hesitation on his part; meanwhile she catalogued what little she had for a description. Height, voice, his after shave. The sound of a click made her tense, but a moment later Lindsay realized that it had simply been a flashlight. Whatever it was he saw, though, didn't seem to bode good for her either.
"Damn it, come on over here, you stupid idiots!" he yelled. The sound of hastening steps was to be heard.
"What's wrong?" The voice sounded younger, worried. You probably have reason to be, Lindsay thought, shifting minutely in the chair, only to make the rope cut deeper into the skin already raw underneath.
"What's wrong," the older one imitated him, still furious. "Look at this! Do you get it now?"
Lindsay didn't, but the accomplice must have, if the sharply drawn breath was any indication.
"Do you see any scars? No? I tell you why, you screwed it up just like I knew you would."
"But... but--" The other one stuttered. "Maybe she had plastic surgery."
"She was wearing those like a badge of honor, like she could ever defeat Charles Hoyt." He'd moved in front of Lindsay quickly enough to see her eyes widen. "I see you're getting an idea what we're here for." With the light behind him, his face was nothing but a dark shape. She had read about Hoyt indeed, a serial killer who had escaped from prison and then worked with a partner. He'd been called the 'Surgeon'. Lindsay had done a lot of reading on serial killers, partly because it was her job, partly for an illusion of safety. Know your enemy. What she remembered about Hoyt though, made her cringe. Rizzoli had to have been the detective on Hoyt's case, but that didn't explain why they thought she was her. Sloppy job, she thought.
"What, you're his fan club?"
"Something like that. Lindsay Boxer, huh? Maybe this isn't so bad after all. Maybe we can all start over from here."
He brushed his fingers over the back of her hand, an almost caress. For the first time, a cold shiver of fear skittered down her spine.
Worriedly, Tom Hogan regarded a distraught Cindy Thomas sitting across from him in the visitor's chair. Much as he'd wish it was true, he knew she wasn't one to cause an unnecessary scene. She'd come here because she knew as well as he did that while it was too early to file a Missing Person's report, she could expect him to pull some strings.
And he was glad to do it too, because it kept him from thinking of the possibilities. Lindsay wasn't a teenager running away from home; she took her responsibilities seriously. She would have found a way to contact Cindy. Any way.
He picked up the phone and hit a number; it was picked up right away. "When Inspector Snow is back, please tell her to come to my office ASAP, please." He hung up and faced Cindy again, uncomfortable with the despair on the young woman's face. "You tell her everything you can think of."
"You've got to be kidding me," Jane said incredulously.
"What is it?" Gabriel asked.
"O'Donnell's called me four times."
"You're on vacation," he reminded her, the tone of his voice grim. Neither of them had a lot of lost love for the psychiatrist who still listened to Hoyt's fantasies.
He sighed. "But it could be important. When was the last time she contacted you?"
"She didn't," Jane said. "Somehow, there was always a reason why we had to go and seek her out. Damn it. It seems like I have to call her back after all." She didn't mention the strange feeling that this could be related to the incident at the airport. Maybe it was instinct. Maybe she was just very jetlagged.
Dusk was falling over the city, and still there was no sign from Lindsay. According to Abbie, she had left Texas on time. Several more phone calls indicated that she had been on the plane, too, which had arrived in San Francisco on time.
Where was she?
Jill tried hard not to think of the last time they'd sat together in Claire's office, worried sick, trying to battle the feeling of helplessness. But this wasn't like the last time, right? Kiss Me Not was dead. Lindsay had four open cases left on her desk, and none of them could give any explanation as to why she had disappeared.
Of course, that wasn't the official line yet, but it soon would be. She looked over to Claire who was trying to console a devastated Cindy. "Don't jump to conclusions, Sweetie. It will be alright." She and Jill silently shared a look that said, they both knew that this was blunt wishful thinking.
The odds weren't good.
Life could be damn unfair, Jill thought. She was scared.
Three Days Ago
There was an uncomfortable silence in the room as Claire related her findings to a bigger audience than usual. She felt crowded not only by the people, but the implications of this case. Jill and Cindy had retreated to the back of the room, Jill, because she'd turned ghostly white after one look at the body, and Cindy, because she was trying to do her best to blend in with the law enforcement personnel.
Denise Kwon might have been there out of support for Jill, but fact was that this case could turn out to be bigger than they cared to imagine. For the same reason, Tom had joined Inspectors Jacobi and Snow to hear about the results.
"Basically," Claire said, "he cut her womb out with a scalpel. She was alive when he did it."
It wasn't actually the excess of violence that was most shocking; it was something they all lived with every day and couldn't afford to let it get to them too much. This murder had been executed with lots of precision, and preparation. Like Arnold's. Like Raynor's.
"If anybody says the word, I'm out of here." Denise shook her head, which prompted Maggie Snow to give her a quick sideways look.
"The woman was living alone. He must have studied her schedule, waiting for the perfect moment," Jacobi mused.
It hadn't gone unnoticed by Claire when Cindy flinched at his words. The past was still hovering closely under the surface.
"Is there anything yet about the book?" Tom asked, sounding slightly desperate. Claire could sympathize. He was under a lot of pressure even if the murder victim, a daytime medical student and nighttime prostitute hadn't been the daughter of a local politician. They had survived the Hallelujah Man. Kiss Me Not. None of them could deal with another of those monsters now.
None of them could bear to hear the word 'serial killer', even if it hung in the air in big, flashing neon letters.
Claire shook her head. "Nothing yet. He could have bought it wherever."
"What about the initials?"
"Not hers, that much is for sure," Maggie Snow said.
They had an ID on the victim since early this morning. The woman's name was Christine Myers, yet she had held a San Francisco travel book in her hand with a dedication that said, Welcome to San Francisco, J.R.
With what Jane had learned from an unusually subdued Joyce O' Donnell she had no choice, so instead of enjoying dinner with her husband, she found herself walking up the stairs of the Hall of Justice. Not the kind of sightseeing she'd had in mind.
O'Donnell had a fascination with the criminal mind that, in Jane's opinion, didn't just border on sick, so if she worried, the situation had to be dire.
Jane and Gabriel had checked the link to the site, and that's when she decided that notifying the local authorities was in order. They claimed to have abducted a woman who they were going to kill in honor of Charles Hoyt. Her.
There was no time to deal with her own remembered horror because she had an idea just who they were talking about.
"Hey, Tex. I thought you wouldn't be back at work until Wednesday."
Jane walked on, only to have the woman who had spoken to catch up with her. "Come on, Lindsay Boxer, you haven't seen me in a week. There's no reason not to talk to me." It was said with a hint of amusement, and Jane turned to her, half-bracing herself for another strange occurrence. Lindsay Boxer. Linds.
"Excuse me, but--"
"Wow." The woman was tall with long brown hair in a ponytail, and ice-blue eyes. Her posture gave away the cop, if the gun on her hip hadn't. That meant Lindsay was a cop, too? She studied Jane curiously. "Decided on a change of outfit?"
"I am not Lindsay Boxer," Jane said tiredly, "but maybe you can help me anyway."
The other woman looked at her slaw-jacked and Jane realized that she might get that reaction more often before she could get back to her hotel room and start the San Francisco trip as planned. She found herself curious about the young woman at the airport and if Lindsay's colleagues knew her.
Cindy Thomas, Jane remembered from the quick glimpse into her wallet. She was not to be envied. Neither was Lindsay Boxer, if her theory was true.
Jane was beginning to wish the department had sent somebody else for the extradition.
Claire had gotten a slight warning in the form of Cindy's encounter with Lindsay's look-alike, but she hadn't quite expected the woman to be sitting in Tom's office with Maggie Snow. She tried to rein her shocked surprise, but it had to have shown on her face anyway.
"I'm sorry," she felt the need to say. "It's... uncanny." Cindy blushed for reasons Claire could imagine after she'd heard the story. Jane Rizzoli just smiled mildly. "No worries. I get that a lot."
Christ, she even sounded like Lindsay. Claire caught Cindy's somewhat defensive gaze. It was true, Claire had had a hard time understanding what had happened at the airport, but all of a sudden, it became a lot more clearer.
In a frightening way.
"How do we get to these people?" she asked.
Tom looked tired. "I've got Jill on the case already, but it's going to take time. They're claiming privacy issues; they won't move a finger until the warrant is through. Those freaks we're talking about might plan to put a video on youtube. I think we're going to need the FBI on this. They have other resources."
"Wait a minute," Rizzoli said. "I might be able to help with that. Let me make a quick call."
Claire found that she couldn't seem to take her eyes off her. Time was running out on them, so this was not the moment to worry about lies told by parents, but she was quite sure that this kind of resemblance didn't just happen coincidentally.
On the other end of the line, someone picked up. "Gabriel? I need to ask you a favor."
Claire half-listened to the one side of the conversation, something else nagging at the back of her mind. Welcome to San Francisco.
She waited until Jane had finished the call, then she said, "Detective Rizzoli, have you ever come across a murder victim who had their womb cut out?" When the other woman blanched, Claire knew that she was on the right track.
Welcome to San Francisco, J.R.
The initials didn't belong to the victim. They meant 'Jane Rizzoli'.
It was just too much. When Claire came up with the idea that linked the murder of Christine Myers to Lindsay's disappearing, Cindy had used the collective shock reaction to quietly steal away to her car.
She was shaking with fatigue and fear, fighting the temptation of a breakdown. She couldn't. For Lindsay's sake, she had to keep it together, but it was damn hard.
Harder to be in the same room as Jane Rizzoli whose mere presence reminded Cindy that something was horribly wrong. She knew it wasn't rational.
Cindy wiped her face angrily and reached for her laptop, powering it up. There had to be something she could do.
When the door opened, she jumped, half-expecting Pete Raynor to enter the room, wearing a tux and his usual conceited grin. How that was even possible, Lindsay didn't know, but she had to have been about to nod off, one of those falling dreams, halfway in the realm of a disturbing memory.
The reality wasn't much better though.
"Hello, Jane," he said. "Lindsay. Whatever. In the end it doesn't make a difference to the flesh and the blood, right?"
Lindsay couldn't help it. "You think you're pretty mean, don't you? Serial killer fanclub and all."
"Shut up!" he yelled at her. She already knew he had a penchant for violence and yet, she couldn't stop herself.
"I've met some, up close. I've seen the way they think and work." Up close. Too close. Lindsay suppressed a shiver. "I don't think any of them would want to be associated with you. You'd be nothing but a bloody amateur to them."
"I said, shut up, bitch!" The slap to her face was hard enough to make her head snap back, resonating soundly in the confines of the dark basement. It was worth a try as long as he kept talking. He wasn't as organized as his idol Charles Hoyt. Or as Pete had been.
"Or you gonna make me? Well, this is not very original. You're not going to write your autobiography in jail."
"Who says I'm going to jail?" He leaned close enough for her to see the anticipatory gleam in his eyes. Organized, he was not, eager, for sure. "See, it's too bad for you the two idiots got it wrong, but you know what, I don't care. We can not only copy Warren's scene, we can improvise. And we can use something that he didn't. The internet."
You do that, asshole. That's one more way to make it easier to get you.
The look he gave her would have been sympathetic on another person's face, as it was, the malice shone through. "You said you read about Hoyt, right? Do you know what he did? Yes?" He didn't wait for an answer. "Well, I guess you're going to find out either way. Soon."
She neither had the wish nor the time to go there now. The next moment, he pressed a damp cloth into her face, the smell just barely registering with her before the room started spinning.
He tossed the cloth into the trashcan, whistling. "Why, Charles," he said to himself. "I'm not gonna be an apprentice of yours. I'm gonna be you. It's just that I'm getting away with it."
Cindy had disappered for a few minutes but was back when they later regrouped in Dr. Washburn's office. She also had some information she'd found online. "There are people who meet to pray for David Arnold's immortal soul. There's an online roleplay game called Kiss-Me-Not in honor of--" She broke off, unshed angry tears glistening in her eyes. "And we thought they were insane."
For a moment, Jane wondered how all of this connected, until she continued.
"I'm sorry." Cindy took a deep breath. "About Hoyt, he's got his followers, too. I found 4 chatrroms and 57 websites relating to him. Those were just the more extreme ones."
Jane was glad that both the attorney, Bernhardt, and Dr. Washburn were focused on their friend, so they missed the impact Cindy's words had on her. She'd be the last to deny that there were crazy people out there, but it became harder and harder to draw the line. What did you know? The next person at the supermarket's cash register might fantasize about cutting out some of your inner organs. Way to make a person paranoid. Only that it wasn't paranoia when they already had a body in the morgue with The Surgeon's MO.
Violence against women had a long, gruesome history, one that Charles Hoyt had educated himself in. "Anything standing out?"
"Not yet. I thought we could go over it together... There's not much more we have at the moment." Cindy was trying hard not to sound scared and dejected, and failing.
Jane decided that Gabriel would have it covered on the other end, one of his contacts already assisting the PD with access to their database. "I'll come with you."
"Could you wait a minute?" Cindy asked after she'd parked in front of the apartment building. "I just need to get Martha back from the neighbors."
"You have a child?" Jane asked, surprised. She remembered the photograph in the wallet; no kids' pictures there.
Cindy Thomas gave her a tired smile. "Not quite. Martha is a dog. I'll be right back."
She returned to the front door a few minutes later with the Border Collie by her side. Jane wasn't much into dogs, but she figured she could at least go for some platitudes. "My, you're pretty."
Martha backed up a little, growling at her while Cindy unlocked the door.
Jane shook her head at the dog. "Well, at least you've got some sense about you," she mumbled, following her temporary host inside. Leave it to a dog to be able to tell the difference right away.
An eerie feeling got hold of her as she walked along the hallway and into the spacious living room. From the color of the wallpaper to the lamp to the carpet in the middle of the room, it looked too damn much like the apartment she and Gabriel shared. "It's... nice."
Cindy shrugged, a somber look on her pretty face. "Most of it is rather new. We kind of had to move twice in the past year." There were clearly some bad memories involved, but Jane didn't ask. As it was, she had enough bad memories to deal with on her own. However, she remembered the names mentioned by Cindy in the morgue this morning: David Arnold and Pete Raynor.
It seemed like Lindsay had a Charles Hoyt of her own. Monsters weren't that rare.
"How about I'll get us some coffee and we continue with the websites? Claire has me on speed dial if she finds out anything."
She disappeared into the kitchen rather quickly while Jane picked up the printouts and started to read. She cringed at the chat transcript where someone had picked c_hoyt as a user name. Not that it was very original, but stupidity and a penchant for violence was a dangerous combination. Smarts and violent fantasies, even worse. They internet was a Goddamn playground for these people.
A few minutes ticked by before Jane realized that Cindy still hadn't returned from the kitchen. She laid the papers aside, got up and walked to the door, opening it softly. "Are you okay?"
Cindy turned to her with red-rimmed eyes. "No. I'm not okay. I just can't go through this again." She was trembling with the effort to hold back the tears.
As someone who worked to bring justice to the dead, Jane had made a habit of distancing herself from the living's grief and pain, a simple survival measure. She found it impossible to turn away from Cindy though, so she stepped forward and hesitantly embraced the younger woman, awkward as it was for both of them.
When the sounds of the coffemaker announced the coffee ready, Cindy withdrew, giving her a somewhat sad smile, not quite revealing to Jane if she had helped at all or just turned the knife.
Jane had asked Cindy for a photograph of her 'twin' which the younger woman had reluctantly handed to her, and she showed it to Gabriel later. While he wasn't one to jump to conclusions, he admitted that the resemblance was too strong to be a coincdence. However, if that was true, there was only one person who could give them all the answers now. Jane clearly had enough of the mystery. If the woman missing and most likely in the hands of some psychopaths wanna-be playing Warren Hoyt was related to her in any way, she thought she had the right to know. Now.
"See, Jane, you're tired," Gabriel said reasonably. "This has to come as a shock for you, so maybe it would be better to wait until you've adjusted to the idea some more."
Jane, however, was not in the mood for reason. "I think it's the best to find out right now," she said, all but jumping to her feet as she picked up the phone.
Angela picked up on the fifth ring, but sounded wide awake instantly. "What happened? Are you hurt?"
Not physically, Jane thought. "No, I'm not."
"It's the middle of the night. What's wrong then?"
"You tell me, Ma. You tell me about Lindsay Boxer."
There was stunned silence on the other end of the line, just as Jane had expected. She waited. Silence was a powerful means in an interrogation. "I don't know what you're talking about," Angela finally said, a hint of defensiveness to her voice.
"I think you do. I want the truth."
"But Janie, don't you think we should--"
"No!" She flinched at her slightly shrill tone. "This isn't a coincidence. I have to know what it means. Don't lie to me now."
Angela sighed. "We were trying to protect our family, you know? But I think since your Dad has given up on that, it doesn't count anymore."
"Dad." Jane felt lightheaded. "Is he really my father?"
Angela's silence was all the answer she needed.Jane closed her eyes for a moment. Maybe Gabriel had been right, and this was a bit too much of the truth for one day. "Okay, then who is?"
"You don't have to sound so judgmental," her mother said. "Dad Frankie last year wasn't the first time he cheated on me. I was hurt. I took Michael and went away for a while, stayed with a friend who was studying in San Francisco."
"Marty wasn't exactly the most reliable man, but he was kind, and spending time with him I'd forget that I felt trapped. That was, until I found out that he had a wife who was pregnant."
Jane blushed as she looked up into Gabriel's sympathetic gaze, feeling mortified even though he couldn't hear the other side of the conversation. There were some things you didn't want your parents to share, but she had no choice now. "Just don't tell me we're twins," she said wearily.
"Of course not, but you are less than a year apart."
"Does Dad... Frank, does he know?"
"He does," Angela simply said.
"Okay. Thanks, I guess."
"Regina's fine, too, in case you wanted to know."
Her mother's continuously defensive tone made Jane's temper boil over. "Well, thanks for telling me something right away after all! Do you know where he is now? I want to talk to him."
"You can't. Marty was shot a couple of years ago."
"What?" She slumped into the armchair, feeling defeated. Another dead end. Literally.
"I'm so sorry." Angela hesitated for a few heartbeats, then she asked, "Lindsay, have you met her?"
"I can't. She's missing." Disconnecting the call, she flipped her cell phone shut and leaned her head against the backrest for a moment. "Just great. Turns out the man I thought of as my father, isn't, and my real father has been dead for two years. My sister might not live long enough for me to meet her. I hate San Francisco already."
That, and she was already questioning the wisdom of trying to clear things up with Angela in the dead of night. Gabriel didn't comment on that, just pulled her close. This was one of the things she loved about him, Jane thought, leaning into his embrace. He wouldn't say, 'told you so'. Even if he possibly thought it.
It was not the kind of conversation Tom would have liked to have at 6 AM in the morning, but Detective Rizzoli seemed determined.
"I need to be on this case, Lieutenant. It's the logical conclusion. Hoyt tried to kill me more than once, now these people claim to murder in his honor. I know how they are thinking. You need me."
Tom studied the Boston Homicide detective for a moment, struck by an intense feeling of déjà-vu. Jane Rizzoli didn't just look like Lindsay, she acted with the same attitude. The last thing he needed now was to be reminded of the Kiss-Me-Not case, but Tom had to admit it was back on all of their minds from the moment it was clear that Lindsay's disappearance was due to a crime.
"I'll have to clear it with your supervisor," he said.
"I talked to him," Rizzoli said immediately, holding out her cell phone. "You'll just have to confirm; he's waiting for your call. They wanted me," she added, quieter. "I owe it to Lindsay."
"Emotions like that can get in the way."
If it sounded paronizing, Tom didn't care at the moment. He was testing her, that much was for sure. He was not going to make the same mistake twice.
Tom was treated to a very familiar glare. "If that's the case, then you shouldn't be on this case. Or so I've been told."
He nearly smiled at this not so subtle hint at 'club' grapevine. It wasn't surprising that Jane Rizzoli could go to places that Maggie Snow or Denise Kwon never would. The insinuation, however, would have been reason enough for him to just send her on her way, technically, but she was Lindsay's sister after all as they had learned earlier. She seemed to share her work ethics, too. Truth be told if she could give them an edge with these perps, then it was worth a try.
Jane waited while he was making the call.
Alone in the oppressive dark that felt like falling into black nothingness, Lindsay slowly calmed her breathing, trying to find a place in her mind where the nausea and pain wouldn't reach and she'd find the resolve she'd need when the moment arose. To survive. To escape.
In order to achieve that, she couldn't let herself be distracted by anything.
Jill had come to her office, some minutes of time before she was due in court, but she wasn't granted a few moments in peace. Which was due to Lindsay being on her mind all of the time, that was a given. She was also completely caught off guard by the visitor. "Maggie. Hi."
At Jill's guarded expression, Maggie let out an exasperated sigh. "Don't be afraid, this isn't a social visit. You might remember I still work in this building too."
"I'm sorry." Jill raked a hand through her hair, trying to hide her sudden nervousness. It didn't mean anything, she told herself. With what was weighing on all of their minds, she didn't need another reason. "What do you need?"
"Richardson." Maggie kept the conversation businesslike. "I need a warrant for all his premises, how soon can you do that?"
"On your desk after lunch. I'll be in court this morning, but I'll get on it." At least some things were less complicated these days. She gave her ex-girlfriend a brief smile.
"Thanks," Maggie said and turned to go, but she halted in the doorway, turning around, hesitating.
Jill looked up at her questioningly.
"You know, the gal from Boston? I have to say I'm mildly offended. I hear you took her down to the morgue, and now Lieutenant Hogan approved her to be on the case. She didn't need long to get into the club."
"She's not..." It was Jill's turn to sigh. She knew Maggie wasn't kidding; her disappointment was heartfelt. And worse, she probably had a reason to feel that way even if they all had graver problems at the moment. "Close the door, please."
Maggie did as she'd been told, leaning against the doorframe.
"I shouldn't tell you this, but... Jane is Lindsay's sister."
Maggie's lips quirked into a wry grin. "Like I couldn't tell from the looks and the attitude. What kind of cop do you think I am?"
"I'm sorry." Jill couldn't help but chuckle, and she was kind of grateful. There hadn't been a moment to relax in what seemed like forever. For sure, the sentiment was gone soon enough. Maggie seemed to sense her shift in mood. She walked a few steps further into the room, her expression serious. "Look, if you need anything... This is not about you and me. Lindsay's one of our own."
"I know. Thanks."
"It's going to be alright. Those guys are nowhere near--"
"I'm okay," Jill cut her off, not wanting to hear the names that were on the tip of Maggie's tongue, not wanting to finish the thought that even if the perps were the beginners they thought them to be, there's no guarantee they haven't killed her already. "Let me work on those warrants you need now?"
"Sure. Thanks again," Maggie said somewhat coolly. "Just call if you need me for anything."
He was back too soon. "I found it online," he whispered. "Hoyt's private library. You use wet rope, because when it dries, it's gonna cut deeper into the skin."
"That's clever," she said, stiffening when his fingers touched the raw skin around the rope. "I bet you're getting all the straight A's." Lindsay readied herself for the blow, but it didn't come. He laughed at her instead.
"You'll lose that attitude yet, I promise."
It wasn't exactly the words, but their tone, the forced intimacy of the two of them in the dark that made her skin crawl. Lindsay sat up straighter even though any movement made the rope catch on already broken skin. She wondered how deep it was and if she could possibly bleed to death from this.
"Nothing left to say, Inspector Boxer?"
"Why, it seems to me that you enjoy hearing yourself talk."
A few seconds ticked by, cold sweat snaking down her spine as she waited, holding her breath. He grabbed her hair and gave a sharp tug, his action deliberate, not really a reaction to her words. She had found that inner calm though to push aside the flashbacks, the dire reality and her own fear.
She knew she would return to her home, to her life, to Cindy. She had survived Pete's fantasy. She would survive this.
When he drew the scalpel across her hand, lightly but with enough pressure to draw a crimson line, Lindsay barely flinched. The next cut he'd make in prison in his fantasy.
He leaned close enough for his lips to almost brush her neck as he spoke. "Why don't we talk about what else Charles inspired me to? You think I'm his admirer, a copycat? Think twice, Inspector. They caught him. Twice. I am here."
Not for much longer, she thought, but this time she was wise enough not to say it out loud.
Jane hated waiting, but there wasn't much of a choice as they were waiting for results from the FBI lab. She was supposed to meet with Maggie Snow in twenty minutes. Jill Bernhardt was currently in court, Dr. Washburn was doing an autopsy.
The impact of the facts she'd learned the night before were finally starting to sink in as much as the realization that time was running out on them. She'd wanted in on the case. Seeing the situation through a cop's eyes, it looked dire. With Gabriel busy as well and Lindsay's friends dealing with fears of her own, she found herself wondering where she could turn.
She went through the numbers in the address book of her cell phone, then hit 'call'.
"Hey Doc. How's it going?"
Maura sounded surprised to hear her voice. "I thought you were enjoying a belated honeymoon. You miss Boston already?"
Jane sighed. "I don't even know where to start." Eventually, she picked the most disturbing fact. "They've got a body here with Hoyt's MO and a detective missing. Who, as it turns out, is my long lost sister."
"Wow," Maura said quietly. "That's a lot to take in."
"Tell me about it. I guess... I'm calling you because you can most sympathize about that kind of situation."
The ME's sister, however, had been dead; Maura had seen her first on a slab in the morgue. There was an image and a horrible possibility hanging in the air.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought this up."
"I understand," Maura said softly. "It's okay. Do you have any idea what happened to her?"
"The ones who killed the woman, Hoyt's style. They took her." Jane hesitated for a moment. "They mistook her for me."
"It's not your fault. You know that, right? Jane?"
She did, and so, most likely, did everyone else, but Jane found she was utterly relieved to have somebody say it out loud. She didn't get to answer Maura's question though as the next moment, Jill came nearly running towards her.
"We've got the bastards," she said grimly.
"Maura? I've got to go."
c_hoyt might or might not have been a dangerous individual, but obviously he'd been chatting with some criminals. It was reddragon who had boasted in the chatroom about not drawing the line at a fantasy. He'd shown a link. It was the same that Joyce O'Donnell had sent to Jane.
Further investigation had also shown the online purchase of a San Francisco travel book, all clues traced to a medical student called Peter Graham.
Jane was aware of Jacobi watching her as they drove to the address. Actually, she'd been feeling like under a microscope ever since she'd arrived in San Francisco. It was unnerving. She could understand these people being afraid for their friend, my sister, but it didn't help the irrational feeling of guilt.
It wasn't supposed to be her. Those men had been lying in wait, for Hoyt's originally intended victim. Jane, not Lindsay. She shuddered.
"We're going to find her," Jacobi said, though she found it hard to determine whether he was trying to reassure her or himself.
"Of course we will. Once we get hold of Graham..."
Jane didn't finish the sentence, not wanting to voice what they both knew. It might be too late already.
"Peter?" Nick, the roommate, a lanky twentysomething wearing an Aerosmith t-shirt, shrugged. "Most of the time I have no idea where he hangs out. I sure wouldn't mind if he moved out."
"Why is that?" Jacobi asked while Jane looked around the room.
They young man looked disgusted. "He's in med school. Cutting up dead people, you know?"
"Well, it's part of the curriculum."
Jane took a deep breath, pushing aside the images of a dark basement, the feel of the stainless steel blade, and blood. The shiver running down her spine was like a foreboding before Nick said, "True, but he seems to be really into it, if you know what I mean."
"Does he have friends over sometimes?" she asked.
"Some guy called Marv. They hang out on the internet all the time. They don't exactly invite me."
Jane glanced at the computer terminal in the corner of the room, Jacobi's gaze following hers.
"Let's take the damn thing apart," he said.
She couldn't agree more.
Claire held her breath as all eyes turned to Tom Hogan. The atmosphere in the bullpen was charged, a heavy silence in which the proverbial needle could have been heard dropping.
In short clipped tones, he gave them details. "The suspects are Peter Graham, Alan Gibson and Marvin James. They are armed, and they know their way around the area. The place belongs to Marvin's grandfather, that much we know from their conversations." He paused for a moment before adding, "They've been planning this, inlcuding the murder of Myers, for nearly a year. She was Graham's classmate."
All animosities of the past few weeks were forgotten as they listenend. Maggie Snow had briefly greeted Jill and Denise. She was wearing her kevlar, a grim look on her face. She'd go with Tom, Detective Rizzoli was driving with Jacobi again.
Before he left, Tom stopped by Claire, his expression somber. Whatever it was he had to say, she was sure she didn't want to hear it. He cast a quick sideways look over to where Cindy was standing a few feet away.
"You and Jill make sure she stays here," he said. "There's no way of telling what we'll find out there."
Claire understood perfectly, but her brain refused to acknowledge all the possiblities. "You don't think--"
"I don't know. Just keep her here."
"We will," she promised. "Just--"
He waited, and Claire shook her head. She couldn't possibly ask of him what was not in his power at all.
She watched Jane Rizzoli talk to Cindy, squeezing her arm gently.
Now, each of them would have to do their part until Lindsay was home safely. Claire stubbornly clung to that vision as the only possible outcome of today.
Cindy sat in the corner, arms wrapped around her legs, staring at nothing. Trying to keep that nervous energy under tabs that was going to make her jump at the ceiling the moment the phone rang.
She was failing.
So Jane had promised her. Oviously, the detective had a strong personal interest in finding Lindsay alive, but you couldn't compare that, she'd only just learned about her sister. Cindy let her mind slip back to places she'd hoped to have long abandoned. Pete's dream house. The torn wedding dress. At least, they had been in there together.
She couldn't possibly stay here and wait, what if She swallowed hard, the thought bringing devastation in its wake. What if she were to be to late by minutes, missing those last moments? She couldn't take that risk. Cindy looked up to where Jill and Claire were talking quietly. She got up slowly, making them turn around and look at her.
"I just want to step outside for a moment.."
She got skeptical glances in return. "It's true! What? I'm getting claustrophobic in here. I just need a moment, okay?"
"Of course, Sweetie," Claire said.
"You're not going to get far anyway," Jill added. "I've got your car keys."
Cindy rolled her eyes at them and left the room. Maybe she wasn't entirely fair, she thought somewhat guiltily. They had their own memories to deal with. Then again, at this very moment, she didn't think that anybody had as much to lose as she had.
Mistaken identity. What a damn irony this was.
In the bathroom, the window was indeed too high and to small for a person to escape through it, but Cindy had other plans actually. She was lucky that her friends trusted her and lucky that Tom had trusted her enough to allow her to be present as they'd worked out a strategy.
She simply walked out of the building.
She knew where to go.
"How do you want to do this, Marvin?"
"What the hell is wrong with you, don't say my name in front of her!"
There was a hint of defensiveness to the younger man's voice when he said, "What, aren't we going to kill her anyway?"
Lindsay kept her eyes closed, pushing the fear farther away. A thought, not yet a plan, was forming.
"Oh no, you did not... damn it," Jill cursed at the sight of the post-it note sticking to the bathroom mirror. Sorry, it said. Cindy.
"You've got to admire her," Denise said, and Jill spun around.
"Excuse me? Remember where it got her the last time?"
Denise stepped closer, laying a hand on her arm in a calming gesture. "I do. And we'll have them back like last time. There are some good cops on the case. They're gonna catch the bastards." She traced her hand down Jill's wrist to entwine their fingers.
"Promise?" Jill asked anxiously.
Hoyt's distinctive MO had been to cut out his victims' womb while they were still alive. He hadn't managed to kill the investigator who'd been hunting him, but he'd scarred her when he put a scalpel, his very tool, through her hands. His admirers certainly planned some, maybe all of it. It wasn't that hard to figure out for Lindsay when she came to and found that they'd taken off the rope, her wrists secured in front of her on the table in some kind of vise. Damn Hoyt and his flair for the Medevial.
She had to get her hands free before Marvin returned and take a chance, it was as simple as that. And she knew how.
Lindsay shifted her hands, a small movement that nevertheless let the pain flare, her eyes watering. It had the desired effect, her voice effectively cracking when she said, "I need to go to the bathroom."
In the semi-dark, the two men shared a doubtful look. "No way," the younger one said nervously.
"Come on." She wiggled her fingers in what little room they had. "He prepared all this for the big finale. You think he'd be amused if I puke all over this pretty contraption? What are you afraid of?"
They looked at each other again. Lindsay held her breath, wondering if she'd be able to do anything after all with her hands free. "There's time, you heard it. He never has to know." She hadn't meant for it to sound suggestive, but to a couple of psychopathic twentysomethigns with an agenda, it probably did. Whatever did the trick.
"Okay, then," one of them finally said. "Don't try anything. I have a gun."
Thanks for telling me, she thought grimly. You'll be first then.
For a moment, she didn't think she could stand on her feet, let alone fight an armed person, but each second as she slowly got out of the chair brought back the resolve and the desperately needed rush of adrenaline.
The feel of his hands and breath was making her skin crawl, but lucky for her he was an absolute beginner in the carnival of monsters. "Why don't we just skip the bathroom?" he leered, pressing against her hip.
"Yeah," Lindsay said. "Why don't we just do that?"
The tip of her boot connected solidly, his resulting howl a satisfying sound. Now she had to deal with the other one before he had caught his breath enough for more than uttering an expletive. The other man was strong and relying on it; fortunately, he didn't have the moves to back it up. He pushed her against the wall hard, her shoulder connecting soundly with the concrete, both of them stumbling to the floor. His hands tightened around her neck. The image of his face above her started wavering.
This would be it. If she didn't make out of the room before the leading man returned, she wouldn't get out alive. They wouldn't kill her right away, but take their time.
She slammed the heel of her hand into his face as hard as she could manage, and his grip loosened as he clutched his bloody nose. Right where it hurts, no hesitation, was what she had learned in many lessons of self-defense. The fact that these men were no seasoned criminals didn't mean anything. They'd set out to torture and kill a woman, and they'd go through with it.
Lindsay got as far as the bottom of the stairs when the shot rang out, the sharp pain burning up her calf telling her in no uncertain terms that she'd been hit. Holding on to the bannister, she dragged herself up. She would make it, any way.
There was blood on the concrete. Silently, Tom and Maggie shared a troubled look as they inched down the narrow, uneven stairs. There was only one door, left ajar, at the end, not much room for the element of surprise. They could hear the men's voices, arguing, on the last few steps.
"Idiot! M's gonna be so pissed. I told you not to let her go, but if you had listened to your brain instead of your--"
"Shut up! Bitch won't get far. Marv says he's gonna take care of her, he will. We'll take it from there. Besides, don't tell me you didn't want a piece of--"
Both of them spun around at the sound of the door banging open and two guns trained on them.
"Hands up!" Tom made no effort to hide his disgust. They both seemed under twenty-five, grad students, admirers of a serial killer. He noticed one of them walking gingerly, the other one's face bloody. The smell of gun powder lingered in the stifling air of in the room. Add to that the blood on the stairs, he had an idea of what had been going down here. Maggie Snow had, too, judging from the stormy look on her face.
"Against the wall. Keep your hands up," she snapped.
"Yeah, whatever." He let out an exasperated sigh, mumbling, "No wonder Hoyt wanted to put the bitch in her place and--"He yelped as Maggie slammed him into the wall. "This is against the law. I have rights!"
"Oh, but the lieutenant here saw that you were resisting arrest." Maggie's eyes flickered briefly to the chair and table sitting underneath the single lightbulb. There were dark stains on the back of the chair. Tom gave her a quick nod; he knew she wouldn't take it too far. He also knew he would have done the same.
"You have the right to remain silent," she continued, "and I would be so grateful if you made use of that right now. Move!"
The temptation to just lay herself down to die like a wounded animal was strong, but as it was, Lindsay simply leaned against the tree to catch her breath just for a moment. She had to keep going, it was her only chance. There had to be neighbors, someplace with a phone.
Her vision kept fading in and out, her body challenged by the multiple pains. Motivation was strong though. She just wanted to go home. To Cindy.
She gripped the bark of the tree tighter when her fingers were starting to slip away, determined to move on when she heard the cracking of a branch behind her.
"That's right, you didn't think it would be that easy," Marvin said. "It's very fortunate the idiot shot you. The blood made it quite easy to follow. Now, I'm afraid I don't have a lot of time to chat."
Lindsay gave him an incredulous look, but she held up her hands. No need to take a foolish risk now. "Now what?" she asked, slowly backing away.
"Stay where you are. Get on your knees."
"Screw you," Lindsay said calmly.
"On your knees, bitch!" he yelled, raising the gun at her, as she stumbled backwards, determined to spoil his final fantasy even as she knew he would pull the trigger.
A shot rang out.
The fury on Marvin's face turned to surprise before he crumbled to the ground.
As the ground was giving way underneath her feet, Lindsay barely had time to catch sight of the shadow of the cop who had fired before the most welcome sight of all greeted her.
"Lindsay, oh my God!" Cindy dropped to her knees beside her, reaching out to embrace her, then hesitating. "You're hurt," she whispered. "Sorry."
"It's all good." Lindsay held on, uncaring about any pains or the fact that she was staining Cindy's clothes, the warmth of Cindy's body making her aware that she was starting to shake, hard. "It's so good to see you." She looked up, her eyes widening at the sight of the woman who was just holstering her gun again. Slowly she got to her feet, taking in the slightly disturbing vision. "Wow. I'm starting to think they must have hit me over the head really hard."
"Believe me, no one hit me over the head, but the feeling is quite the same," Jane Rizzoli said, holding out her hand. "It's nice to finally meet you."
Time passed in a blur. Many tears mostly her friends', because Lindsay found herself too exhausted to do anything but answer a few simple questions, her mind clouded by pain medication and fractions of the nightmare. Cindy remained by her side through all of it, and it was mostly this reassurance that had her coming out of the spell slowly.
Jane came to visit her, too, sharing more details of her story and the recently revealed secret.
Funny somehow that Jane's life had pretty much turned out the way Lindsay had once envisioned hers, married, with a child. It was all good now, she thought, smiling unwittingly.
"Your girfriend, she is something," Jane remarked after Cindy had left the room to get herself some coffee. "No threats or yellow tape can keep her away, right?"
She obviously hadn't expected Lindsay who was supposed to keep it easy on the voice, to answer, but Lindsay couldn't help it. "That's my girl," she said, instantly starting to cough.
"Hey. Take it easy." Alittle awkwardly, Jane leaned over to adjust the pillow for her, the conversation stalled then mostly by the fact that Lindsay was about to fall back asleep. Once she was able to stay awake for a longer period of time, Jane would have a lot of questions for her new-found sister.
Cindy hesitated outside the hospital room, openly observing the two sisters.
It was still mind-boggling, even with the explanation given by Jane's mother. So anybody could see they were related, but Cindy couldn't help thinking that there was more. The body language, certain tastes, the choice of profession, these were things you heard about twins growing up seperately, not half-siblings. If there was another secret Angela Rizzoli wasn't willing to share, maybe it was better that way for the time being.
They had enough to put behind them as it was.
With the thought came a gratitude that was so profound it was making her knees weak. Given a second chance once more.
She smiled to herself, finally pushing the door open.
Lindsay stood in front of the two-way mirror in the observation area, feeling strange not to be on the other side. In the glass, she could also see her own reflection, the bruises visible even in the vague mirror image, making her wince.
She focused her attention on Jane who, dressed conservatively in a dark blue pantsuit, was entering the room unhurriedly.
"I hear you wanted to meet me so badly," she said. "I'm here now. Got something to tell me?"
Peter Graham was nervous, cringing when the legs of the chair scraped over the concrete. There were beads of sweat visible on his forehead. Lindsay would have gone with him first, too. He'd crack at the first chance of turning on the others and trying to save his own ass.
"Look, this is a mistake. We had no idea what Marvin was up to. He took us down to the basement, man, it was a shock, we didn't know he was going to kidnap a woman!"
Lindsay stayed motionless, reining the impulse to barge into the room. She remembered his words all too clearly. Why don't we just skip the bathroom?
"It was a shock," Jane repeated mildly. "Why didn't you call the police then? It must have occurred to you that Marvin was dangerous. That he was planning to torture and kill her."
"I let her go! It was Marvin who did it. He had the gun, and he went after her. We were just... trying to figure out what to do!"
"So you never took part in any online correspondence to plan this, the murder of a prostitute, and then the kidnapping of a police inspector?"
"I told you I didn't."
"Well too bad then," she said sarcastically, slamming a sheet of paper on the table in front of him. "Too bad you weren't very good at encrypting your emails. Too bad for you Inspector Boxer is alive to tell her side of the story."
There was real panic in his eyes now. "I never wanted to kill anyone!"
That's even remotely believable, Lindsay thought. You had other plans.
"What a sleaze," Tom said behind her. "I hate to think of what they would have come up with at the age of thirty-five."
"Tell me about it."
"The other one's talking too, just Marvin clamming up. For all the good it'll do for him, we'll have enough."
"I'd say," Lindsay said grimly, not turning her gaze away from the interrogation scene. "It's my blood all over the damn place."
"They're all going down. By the way, your sister is pretty good at what she does, too."
Lindsay smiled. "I know. It runs in the family."
It was Jane's last day in San Francisco. The girls would be here soon, as well as Gabriel who would pick her sister up later, but before, they had opted to make some time for a bit of family reunion. Cat was still very much oblivious to the new family development, as she was out of town with her two girls for a couple of weeks.
Lindsay leaned back in her booth, openly studying her mirror image. Of all the twists in her life, marriage, divorce, being caught in the crossfire of a serial killer's obsession, finding love with a woman she'd never envisioned anything like that.
"I know," Jane said dryly. "Same here." They both had to laugh as it was obvious they'd been thinking the same.
Marty Boxer had kept many secrets from his family. What the hell were you thinking? Lindsay wondered. If it hadn't been for a string of coincidences, they might have never met. And it seemed like their parents had wanted it exactly that way. "We didn't have much time," she said somewhat wistfully. "You could come visit some other time when Cat is around."
"Sure. And you could come to Boston over the holidays. Cindy, too. I'd like you to meet Maura."
Jane smiled at Lindsay's surprised expression. "You know, the kind of person who's not only the good friend you couldn't afford to miss but also can do magic in the morgue? I've got one of those."
"In other words, Claire."
"Right. We're just a reporter and an attorney short of forming a club like yours."
Lindsay shook her head, laughing. "I'm not sure if it's a concept you can franchise." More serious, she added, "I mean it. I'd like to catch up."
"Me too. There's a lot of catching up to do for sure."
"Our parents have been jerking us around quite a bit here," Lindsay said thoughtfully. "I'm sorry there's no one on this side to give us any answers."
"I'm glad we found you on time. I'm not sure I can handle any more answers at this point."
"Right. Now tell me again how you convinced Tom to let you work on the case..."
A usual Sunday morning brunch at Papa Joe's, yet it was not. In the days since she'd come to know Jane Rizzoli, Claire hadn't stopped to be amazed. DNA didn't lie, but parents tended to sometimes. When they thought it was best for their children, unfortunately sometimes, when they thought it was best for themselves.
Whatever secrets were still in the dark, it didn't seem to matter now. They had won, once more.
"Tell me, is it genetically possible for two people to look exactly the same and be, let's say, half-siblings?"
Maura gave her a thoughtful look. "Do you want an answer from a doctor, or a friend?"
Jane sighed. "I don't know. I'm just afraid this is going to turn out like some soap opera storyline. Right," she said, not waiting for an answer. "As if it isn't already."
Maura smiled gently. "You share the same father. Genetics can be a tricky thing. Why not leave it at that? You found your sister."
"I did." Jane scowled. "And I wouldn't think that Ma would... no, let's not go there. The story she did tell me is bizarre enough."
"You're not gonna grill her some more?" Maura asked.
"I don't think so. I've had enough excitement for a while."
Maura regarded her thoughtfully. "You two are really that similar?"
"It's scary, I know. From the looks down to attracting the attention of a psychopath killer."
"And you both survived them."
"Yes, we did," Jane said grimly, but with a hint of pride.
Her dreams were an unsettling slide show of crime scenes, Pete's, Arnold's, pictures she'd seen of the victims of Charles Hoyt, the 'Surgeon'. Falling didn't even begin to describe it.
The scenery changed, and she saw herself as a child, four or five years old, her father taking her out for cake and hot chocolate on her birthday. She turned in the booth, her eyes meeting those of another girl, black hair, dark eyes, looking exactly like her. "Daddy!"
When she turned though, there was only the waitress. Her face was a ghostly pale, and her lips were stitched shut.
"I can hear your heart racing," Cindy said quietly. "Do you want to tell me?" The softness of her hair under Lindsay's fingers was intensely calming, helping her finally catch her breath. "Just weird... stuff," she said. Cindy wordlessly tightened her arm around her waist.
"It's all good now."
"I love you," Lindsay said, which might have been a bit of a non-sequitur but she knew she could count on Cindy to get her.
Cindy turned her head to kiss her, and pulling her closer, Lindsay thought that she could handle a few bad dreams as long as she'd wake up being exactly where she'd always wanted to be.
Angela Rizzoli sat on the couch and opened the box with the pictures that had remained untouched for so many years she could almost make herself believe they didn't exist. Almost. Her hands were shaking as she was going through them until she found the one she'd been looking for, two babies on a pink blanket.
She didn't think anyone would ever understand the bond she'd had with Marty Boxer, a married man, a love affair happening at a time when she was questioning her own marriage, only to return to the father of her firstborn.
She thought of Marty, remembering walking along the beach in San Francisco, dreams of running away, her vision blurring. Angela turned the photograph around, reading the words written 37 years ago.
'Janie and Lindsay'.
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